One of the biggest problems in a manufacturing facility is its use of space. When companies have lots of space and are in a growth mode, they tend to use their space very “willy-nilly.” That is to say that some planning is done but no long term shop-wide plans are used to place shop equipment.
So what happens? The machines get placed, in many cases, without regard to how work will flow in and around this machine. Yes, it’s probably in the right department, but more often than not, little thought is given as to how this location impacts the workflow in the shop. Effects include: lost time, juggling parts around, safety issues, and just frustration in not being able to access the necessary items to produce product.
Over time, this happens again and again until:
1. You run out of room.
2. Someone wakes up and puts their foot down about doing some planning.
Unfortunately, in both cases, the cost to re-locate machine(s) is much greater now than had there been a shop-wide plan to place future growth as it happened.
This becomes child’s play if you happen to be moving your plant and correct all the ills in one stroke (starting the clutter process all over again). If you are trying to re-do a plant while it’s operating, think again. Otherwise be prepared for several headaches and the need for increased overtime to handle the workload.
Primary $Profit Power$ Point (you can use today!)
"Download a factory layout software such as the Intergraph® CADWorx ® DraftPro™ (it’s free) and lay out your shop the way you would like it to be. Moving machines or departments even by as little as 6 inches can make HUGE differences in workflow and end all sorts of other nagging problems."
Check out our Exhaust Notes video on this same topic.
Manufacturing Consultant David Senkfor works those in the gear manufacturing and industry to help them implement process improvement practices. He is available for speaking, consultation and coaching.